Mokae Land returned to hĀna community

Mokae is the area of Hana land that was arguably under the greatest threat of development, being located next to renowned Hamoa Beach.

Ke Ao Hāli‘i is pleased to announce that in March of 2021 and June of 2022, two land purchase transactions between Hana Ranch Partners LLC and Ke Ao Hāli‘i were completed and recorded at the Bureau of Conveyance. Ke Ao Hāli‘i along with the Hāna community are now the stewards of 60 acres of Mokae/ Kaholaiki land. 
Mahalo nui Ke Akua for making the way. Without Ke Akua, we could never have accomplished this task. Mahalo nui to our kūpuna for giving us the oversight so what we do is pono for the ‘āina and for each other. Mahalo nui Hāna and all our supporters for your aloha and kokua in achieving our initial goal for this ‘āina to prevent development by securing fee simple title. All land from Hamoa beach to Kapia stream is now forever restricted by a conservation easement, held by Hawaiian Islands Land Trust and the County of Maui, which prohibits subdivision and development in perpetuity. 
Mahalo to Hana Ranch Partners for their commitment to seeing this land dedicated to conservation. Mahalo nui to the Maui County Open Space Fund, including Mayor Victorino, Councilmember Sinenci and all of the Maui County Council Members; mahalo to the Hawai‘i State Legacy Land Conservation Program, with the support of Senator English and Representative DeCoite; and mahalo to the generous donors within the Hāna Community, all for the financial support that made this acquisition possible. 

There is still a portion of Mokae land for sale by HRP. Ke Ao Hali'i continues to work diligently to secure funds to complete the protection of these precious lands.

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History & background

Mokae is, according to accounts, the land where the iwi kupuna (ancestral bones) were buried and the Hawaiian Culture celebrated.

Local legend also claims Pu’u Hele in Mokae as a place where the spirits of men, after death, were believed to plunge into Po (eternity). “There dwell our ancestors, spiritual parents; our aumakua.”

There have been a number of archaeological surveys with specific references to the project area. These include Walker (1931); Nakkim (1970); State Survey (1973); Cleghorn & Rogers (1987); Estioko-Griffin (1987); Kolb & Orr ( 1993); Sterling (1998); and Dockall, Lee-Greig, & Hammatt, (2005) and are the source of much of information discussed in this Section I.

Noteworthy Mokae areas: Cleghorn and Kolb identify three Heiaus in close proximity: Hale O Lono Heiau, Kaluanui Heiau & Pakiokio Heiau, all in various states of disrepair.

In addition, Donham (1991) reported the recovery of human remains in the vicinity of Mokae Cove. The location is referred to as the Kaholaiki Burial Site (SIHP 50-13-2385) and is just south of Mokae Cove and Pu‘u Hele (the hill at Mokae). Dr. Hunt also documents this area in a letter (2017) with photos. Dr. Fariss commented on the same area: "The reason this matters for this particular project is that if there is a site that includes the burials, then the burials are part of a larger site. This designation conveys the protections of a historic property on a much larger geographic scale, as opposed to just the immediate area where the burials are located". Many older maps also note burials or cemeteries on the Mokae and adjacent parcels.

The other area of significance on the Mokae land is identified in Cleghorn as rock shelter near the wooded area. This location needs further investigation but a number of rock enclosures, terraces and view planes to Hawai'i Islands are still evident today.

Inventoried survey fieldwork of the broader area resulted in the identification and documentation of an array of historic properties comprising multiple features related to Pre-Contact and historic temporary habitation and agriculture, as well as Pre-Contact ceremonial functions.

Mokae art

MĀlama mokae

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